A former South Carolina State University trustee’s federal corruption trial has been pushed back until early next year.
Former board of trustees chair Jonathan Pinson’s trial was supposed to begin this month, but WIS-TV reports that Pinson’s attorneys have been granted a second delay to allow them more time to prepare for possible new charges.Pinson was indicted in January on charges of interference with commerce by threats of violence. Federal prosecutors accused Pinson of arranging for SC State to buy a parcel of land in exchange for kickbacks and for the school to illegally use a colleague’s entertainment business.
The reason for the delay, according to court documents, are the four months of phone wiretap recordings that investigators used to connect Pinson to the land deal. Judge David Norton wished to give defense attorneys enough time to review all of the taped calls, WIS reports.
Former SC State Police Chief Michael Bartley pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy for his part in the land scheme. Richard Zahn, a Florida businessman who owned the land in question, also pleaded guilty.
Pinson’s attorney maintained his client’s innocence during the arraignment last January, saying the former chairman has “never ever taken a dime” to make any decision at South Carolina State.